Our buddy David Schoenfield over at the SweetSpot blog has this piece about why the Reds should hang on to Joey Votto. I agree with every single word. Especially these words:

Plus, there’s this scenario: If the goal is to trade Votto and hope you get lucky that one of the prospects develops into a star, wouldn’t the Reds just end up facing the same scenario? The odds that you acquire three prospects, each of whom develops into a good player before he starts making big money, is extremely slim. Among other reasons, if those prospects were sure things, they wouldn’t be getting traded.

So if I’m the Reds, I keep Votto. I do what the Brewers did in 2011 with Prince Fielder and the Rays in 2010 with Carl Crawford. Those clubs kept their impending free agents and won division titles. You need stars to win pennants. Joey Votto is the Reds’ star.